Doc is usually the one in the spotlight when the focus falls on the MAS mascots. With such a colorful personality it’s no wonder he tends to steal the show from his squamate friends Charles and Monty. In this post I’d like to show a little love to our less outspoken, but equally fascinating, reptilian mascots.
Charles Darwin is our Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps). At roughly five years old, he is fully mature. For a bearded dragon, this means a largely plant based diet with insect supplements. Such an easy diet is part of the reason Bearded Dragons are popular pets. Charles will often be seen lounging about, basking under his UV light as he would in his natural desert environment.
Like all reptiles, he is exothermic and has to use warm and cool spots in his enclosure to regulate his body temperature. Being such a lounge lizard means he’s often out in the open for his visitors to admire. His calm disposition makes him a favorite to handle as well.
Monty is our more reclusive Ball Python (Python regius). Unlike Charles, he’s usually tucked away in his hide. In the wild he would be making his home under termite mounds and abandoned mammal burrows in Africa, so his shyness is all instinct.
If you can coax him out of his home, he’s a very calm animal who is perfectly comfortable with being gently handled by people. Like bearded dragons, ball pythons are extremely popular in the reptile pet trade. A large captive breeding community for ball pythons exists and manages to breed snakes with beautiful and unique colorations, called “morphs”. Monty is a normal wild type python, but is still captivating to look at!